Electromagnet Uses on Cars

by Jonathan Lister
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electricity image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com

Electromagnetic energy is a limitless source of power that is used in many industries across the United States. This technology runs several key instruments in modern automobiles, from electrical features, to whole ignition systems and engines. For countries looking for energy independence, electromagnetic propulsion systems in automobiles provide an alternative to fossil fuels by simply plugging the vehicle into an outlet at the end of the day.

Power Locks

Power door locks in modern automobiles use electromagnets in conjunction with electrical signals generated from the vehicle's control unit to literally push the door lock open. The signal is sent via radio transmitter from a keypad or hand-held remote which is then picked up by the vehicle's on-board computer. When the computer receives the "unlock code" from the transmitter, an electrical signal serves to power an electromagnet that moves the lock.

Vehicle Hardware

Several components found under the hood of an automobile are powered by electromagnets. A solenoid is a coil of wire that uses an electromagnet to create linear motion to bring mechanical pieces into line and close a circuit. This component is integral to the ignition process of modern automobiles. Other car parts, such as audio speakers, use electromagnets surrounded by a permanent magnet to create electrical impulses from sound waves.

The Electric Engine

An electric motor is built on coils of wire which are driven through the magnetic force created by electromagnets. Electrical force is converted into mechanical energy by the electromagnets which turn wheels and generate speed. Modern hybrid electric vehicles maintain this magnetic field through "regenerative braking" which allows resistance (friction) created through wheel motion to reclaim the spent electrical forces needed to propel the vehicle along the road.

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